As protests continue to rage in France, discontent is festering elsewhere in Europe at the same time. What began as a routine protest deep in Paris has swelled to over a hundred thousand people and approximately five locations throughout the country. Anger over yet another eco-fascist “gas tax” seems to have been the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
This, of course, was combined with other problems too: constant foreign military adventures, falling wages, rising costs of living, rising costs of healthcare, privatization of essential services, cultural disruption as a result of heavy migration, and growing unemployment as a result of Free Trade globalist policies.
It’s not just France dealing with Yellow Vest protests.
And the discontent being seen in France is also being felt elsewhere in Europe – most notably Belgium and the Netherlands. Although receiving much less media attention, the “yellow vests” have taken to the street in Belgium over many of the same concerns as their counterparts in France.
But while the French version of the protests was set off by the proposed increase of fuel taxes and ballooned into a movement addressing greater issues, there was no straw to place on the camel’s back in Belgium. There were no new fuel taxes announced or any other new policy that was receiving coverage in the media or causing discontent with Belgians at the time. The Belgian government is increasing the cost of fuel but the policy is not a new one. Belgians already pay the highest state taxes for fuel in Europe.
Interestingly enough, it seems that the “final straw” for Belgian was imported from France.
For all intents and purposes, it appears that the Belgian and Dutch protests are the reverberating waves of discontent that comes with such an “integrated” society in Europe whereas the indignities suffered by the populations in one Sovietized EU “democracy” are grievously felt in another Sovietized EU “democracy.”
It is also reminiscent of the French Revolution when British oligarchs were constantly on guard for signs of discontent with the dreadful conditions in that country, lest the same thing should take place in England.
So Why Are The Protests Taking Place In Belgium?
For the most part, the protests in Belgium are inspired by the same situation in France, i.e.; falling wages, rising costs of living, rising costs of healthcare, privatization of essential services, cultural disruption as a result of heavy migration, and growing unemployment as a result of Free Trade globalist policies.
France 24 summed up a number of Belgian economic grievances when it writes,
The demonstrations in both countries come from the same sense of struggling to make ends meet every month.
It began, in both countries, with the government increasing the cost of fuel. Belgians, for instance, pay the highest state taxes on diesel in Europe. The French government backed down on the proposed fuel tax increase, and Belgian ministers did the same, announcing the fuel prices would not be index-linked from 2019. But in both countries, the protests have continued.
According to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical body, tax-to-GDP ratio rose across Europe in 2017. France tops the list, with tax revenue accounting for 48.4% of GDP, and Belgium follows close behind with a tax-to-GDP ratio of 47.3%.
Economist Philippe Defeyt told Belgian media RTBF that while the cost of living has increased in Belgium, so too has the average income – apart from the lowest-earners, who have been squeezed even tighter.
A retired man told RTBF that he receives a pension of €1,350 a month. “I get it on the 23rd of the month. It’s now the 8th and after I’ve paid insurance, rent, energy bills – which cost €150 – I only have €200 left for living expenses,” he said.
A Facebook group for Yellow Vests in Belgium lays out some of their demands to the government: lowering the retirement age, decreasing fuel excise duties, decreasing the cost of electricity and water, the choice of referendums at all levels of legislative decision-making, increasing pensions, improving public services and increasing purchasing power. The average price of electricity has risen €10 in the past year. Protesters describe a general “ras-le-bol fiscal”, or financial despair.
Where are the European protests headed?
While no one knows just where the French and now, apparently, European protests are heading, there is clearly the sense on the part of the protesters and ordinary Europeans that they are losing their countries. They’re losing it to a globalist agenda whether it be Free Trade, immigration, eco-fascism, high taxation, low wages, or a confluence of all and more of those issues.